Can you tell us something about Arcadis?
‘Arcadis is a global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets. In design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 27,000 people active in over 70 countries: Improving quality of life.’
What are your biggest technological challenges at the moment?
‘To mention (just) one topic: from a planetary perspective, the emergence and rapid expansion of cities across the globe may represent another turning point in the life of our planet. Cities are under pressure from all angles; some pressures are easily forecasted while others are more difficult to predict. Balancing the immediate needs of today without compromising the demands of tomorrow is at the heart of sustainability. In general we need solution-oriented technologies to provide realistic, context-specific pathways to a sustainable future. At the forefront are technologies related to energy solutions, climate change, food & water production/distribution and many more.’
What do you hope people will learn from your presentation at TUS Expo?
‘I propose a coupled human-natural urban model that focuses and understand both the unpredictable dynamics and innovation in urban complex adaptive systems. Instead of predefining solutions, this perspective focuses on understanding the ‘rules of the game’ (how a specific complex urban system works), to understand and facilitate self-organization, modularity, feedback and transformation. Decision making based on the careful balance between top-down and bottom-up managements strategies supported by predictive modelling. I hope that visitors understand and support the development of intelligent models/systems to ensure that as cities develop and address the considerable challenges they face – from ecological to socio-economic – they do so in the most effective and efficient way that puts people first and at the forefront of their sustainability.’
Which presentation do you hope to give in 5 years?
‘I hope that I will not give the presentation, but city leaders present the results and effectiveness of Urban System Engineering based on the results in their own cities.’